Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo, has empowered 15,000 youths in the state, with the sum of N250,000 each to embark on various entrepreneurial businesses.
The empowerment took place at the Dan Anyiam stadium, Owerri on Saturday.
Uzodimma said that the youths who received the money as start-up funds, had earlier been trained in different skills such as fish farming, hair dressing, barbing and tailoring among others.
He added that the empowerment was a demonstration of his commitment to ensuring a better future for youths in the state.
According to him, the empowerment would help keep the youths away from social vices, thereby reducing insecurity in the state.
“We are taking a practical step in the actualisation of our prosperity agenda. Our Shared prosperity programme is not just a mantra, but a manifestation of our resolve to empower Imo People, particularly the youths, not only economically but also politically.
“The only guarantee that the youths of today can truly be the leaders of tomorrow, is by ensuring that they are empowered today, so that tomorrow they can be economically strong to assert themselves as leaders.
“We understand clearly that our future as a nation and as a state, lies in the quality of youths we have today, we are leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that we secure the future for our youths, by providing for their today,” he said.
The governor however, announced that every last Saturday of June every year would be observed as ‘Youth Day’ in the state.
This, he said, was to give the youths a greater sense of importance and create a forum for interaction and solving of their challenges.
“I am delighted to inform you that as part of my government’s determination to engage our youths more proactively and make them more relevant, I will institute a forum for your yearly regular interaction.
“This is to take necessary steps to encourage you to take up the role of playing advocacy for peace for a crime-free Imo state. I am therefore delighted to dedicate the last Saturday in June every year, as ‘Imo Youth Day’,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the youths thanked the governor for the gesture.
Mr Chukwudi Unachukwu, a beneficiary, lauded the governor and promised to put the fund to good use. (NAN)